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Old 12-10-2014, 09:01 PM   #21
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I wonder if you could book refundable at the higher rate a long time in advance, then book the cheaper non refundable a few days before departure, and cancel the earlier reservations. You might need to book it with the spouses name and credit card, but it could save a bundle. Probably wouldn't work in peak season, but if they have capacity, you might even get a lower last minute rate.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:01 PM   #22
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I wonder if you could book refundable at the higher rate a long time in advance, then book the cheaper non refundable a few days before departure, and cancel the earlier reservations. You might need to book it with the spouses name and credit card, but it could save a bundle. Probably wouldn't work in peak season, but if they have capacity, you might even get a lower last minute rate.
That might work...but in my experience, I have been able to find sometimes really great deals on Hotwire. Sometimes they turn out to be just "okay" deals (like 20%-30% off of regular rates), but sometimes they're even more. And I'm ok with getting a really good non-refundable deal and locking in with it, since I know I probably won't find a cheaper deal elsewhere (unless it's literally the day before on Hotwire - but I don't want to push my luck that close to the trip).

Also, in the limited experience I've had booking hotels, the chains seem to have better pricing the farther out you are, rather than having last-minute deals.
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:03 AM   #23
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A few weeks ago, through an Accor Hotels promo, we booked a 5 star hotel stay in Bangkok. Advance payment/no refund for $433. It included a full buffet style breakfast for two people.

Today, on the same site, the price is $689 for the room only, advance payment/no cancellation OR $812. w/ unrestricted cancellation-room only.


For us, the risk was reasonable because there is a very high degree of certainty that we will be there. Besides, it is too late to change our air.
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:31 PM   #24
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They like to make life "interesting". Apparently they've added the wrinkle now where you pay something like 30% more for a booking that you can cancel a day or two before arrival. ... Then the decision is whether to pay quite a bit more to stay there if I want flexibility of movement. What would you do and what parameters would drive that decision?
I think of the non-refundable option as a savings rather than the no fee option as an extra cost. I know it doesn't make any practical difference, but it helps me decide. If I have any doubts about my hotel plans, I keep it flexible. It sounds like you are uncertain. Keep in mind, that you probably don't want to be messing around finding another room once you are there. Look at the hotel, the star rating, the location, and use the user reviews to confirm a decision based on the facts. Bookings.com is another site I find useful to book rooms.
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:42 AM   #25
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We have traveled extensively, and I'm okay guaranteeing a room with a credit card. I do not like to prepay, however.

We prefer to stay in bed and breakfasts and off the beaten path locations. We also like to have somewhere to stay on our first stop and make reservations via internet as we go along. We do not travel in high season, either.

With a notebook or laptop, there's no reason you cannot find a place to stay on Venere.com, AirBnB.com or Booking.com in virtually every place in the world. In most major cities, I will have checked out the accommodations closely from customer recommendations to online photographs.

I liked a bed and breakfast outside Rome where they just took my name and phone number without deposit or prepayment. We paid upon our leaving. They said you just have to trust people.

I cannot remember anytime I've lost any funds on accommodations.
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Old 12-24-2014, 12:07 PM   #26
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We booked a Holiday Inn Express in Dallas last week. Senior rate: $81, guaranteed rate: $80. I knew we were going, so I saved the buck!
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:41 AM   #27
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We do extended land trips. We seldom book too far in advance. We use the web...venere, agoda, booking, whatever, to book as we go. We want the flexibility to change our itinerary. We will typically reserve in our first and second stops but keep it open after that. On our last trip we went with one way air. Got good return air later. Doing the same when we leave next week. One way air with a few hotels. B&B's booked but the rest is open, including air home.


We will only pay in advance if we are certain to be going and if there is a substantial financial benefit to doing so. And there has to be good value for us.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:46 AM   #28
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We have traveled extensively, and I'm okay guaranteeing a room with a credit card. I do not like to prepay, however.

We prefer to stay in bed and breakfasts and off the beaten path locations. We also like to have somewhere to stay on our first stop and make reservations via internet as we go along. We do not travel in high season, either.

With a notebook or laptop, there's no reason you cannot find a place to stay on Venere.com, AirBnB.com or Booking.com in virtually every place in the world. In most major cities, I will have checked out the accommodations closely from customer recommendations to online photographs.

I liked a bed and breakfast outside Rome where they just took my name and phone number without deposit or prepayment. We paid upon our leaving. They said you just have to trust people.

I cannot remember anytime I've lost any funds on accommodations.
With Airbnb, you will prepay. Airbnb holds the funds until you check-in, then pays the landlord. I'm sure that making $ on the float is part of Airbnb's business model. Cancellation/refund policies vary by property and length of stay.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:26 AM   #29
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I agree with what you're saying about AirBnB. Immediately upon leaving the property, they're wanting your feedback on the property and the owners. At the same time, they're getting feedback from the owner on how you kept their property--cleanliness, etc. I appreciate that.

I don't have any problem prepaying AirBnB in the short term. But I wouldn't want to pay them 6 months ahead of my visit. There are too many things out of my control in this world.

Hotels.com is another website that often wants prepayments, where Booking.com doesn't most of the time.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:55 AM   #30
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I agree with what you're saying about AirBnB. Immediately upon leaving the property, they're wanting your feedback on the property and the owners. At the same time, they're getting feedback from the owner on how you kept their property--cleanliness, etc. I appreciate that.
Yep, me too. I also value the fact that Airbnb holds the $ until 24hrs after the guest occupies the place. This protects the guest (me), and is worth the float to me.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:34 AM   #31
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I rarely use non refundable hotels since vacation plans can change quickly.

Besides, I am a Diamond Guest so I get anything I want.

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Old 08-13-2015, 03:08 PM   #32
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Just booked some non refundable nights for our Greece trip next month.

The average saving was 18/20 percent. Made a difference. Also cut down on how much cash we take.
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